According to a fact guide about Halloween issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, the observance of Halloween dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago.
Following are a sampling of the Census Bureau’s spooky statistics.
• 36 million: The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2008 — children 5 to 13 — across the United States. This number is up about 65,000 from a year earlier.
• 111.4 million: Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2008 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
• 93%: Percentage of households with residents who consider their neighborhood safe. In addition, 78% said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night.
• 1.1 billion pounds: Total production of pumpkins by major pumpkin-producing states in 2008. Illinois led the country by producing 496 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $141 million.
• Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:
Transylvania County, N.C. (30,187 residents). Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,566). Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,228)
Pumpkin Bend, Ark. (population 307). Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C. (15,711)
Cape Fear in Chatham County, N.C. (1,170). Skull Creek, Neb. (population 271).
• 1,233: Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2007, employing 38,794 people and shipping $13.2 billion worth of goods. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 143, followed by Pennsylvania, with 115.
• 466: Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionery products in 2007. These establishments employed 18,250 people and shipped $6.6 billion worth of goods that year. California led the nation in this category, with 70 establishments.
• 23.8 pounds: Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2008.
• 2,011: Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2007.